Wednesday, December 12, 2012

White House declines to condemn union violence in Michigan

By: Neil Munro / The Daily Caller

White House spokesman Jay Carney declined to condemn the increasing violence and threats by union members in Michigan, merely telling reporters Tuesday that “the president believes in debate that’s civil.”

When asked by a reporter about a claim by Michigan state Democrat that “there will be blood” should Republicans pass a union-choice law in Michigan, Carney professed ignorance and then downplayed the comment.

“I haven’t see those comments, and I’m not sure they mean what someone interprets them to mean,” he said.

The union violence, which included at least one televised assault on a journalist, followed an Obama rally in Michigan Dec. 10, when he declared that right-to-work laws are a political effort to slash wages.

“These so-called ‘right to work’ laws, they don’t have to do with economics; they have everything to do with politics,” Obama told workers at an auto factory in Redford, Mich. “What they’re really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money,” he said.

Obama also suggested that the new law, which gives workers the choice to opt out of unions in their workplace, is designed to provoke conflict for Republican gain.

“We’ve got to get past this whole situation where we manufacture crises because of politics … [that] leads to less certainty, more conflict, and we can’t all focus on coming together to grow,” Obama claimed.

Most Democrats oppose right-to-work laws because they tend to reduce the flow of workers’ monthly dues to unions. That financial cut weakens union leaders’ ability to shape elections and lobby against changes.
Obama’s Dec. 10 speech did not call for civil debate, or non-violence. (RELATED: Union protester assaults conservative Steven Crowder)

Obama has usually kept his distance from state-level conflicts.

He played little role in 2011 labor-relations battles in Wisconsin and Ohio, and kept a low profile in the October 2012 teacher’s strike in Chicago.

During the teachers’ strike, he called for a negotiated settlement between Democrats in the state government and in the teachers’ union. He called for negotiations, Carney said, because “it was in the interests of the children.”

However, Carney then choose to shift the subject from Michigan’s labor dispute by calling on other reports for questions.

“Let me move around,” he said.

Read more:

Michigan becomes right-to-work state despite union protests

From The Daily Caller / AP
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — In a dizzyingly short time span, Republicans have converted Michigan from a seemingly impregnable fortress of organized labor into a right-to-work state, leaving outgunned Democrats and union activists with little recourse but to shake their fists and seek retribution at the ballot box.

The state House swiftly approved two bills reducing unions’ strength Tuesday, one dealing with private-sector workers and the other with public employees, as thousands of furious protesters at the state Capitol roared in vain. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder signed the measures into law within hours, calling them “pro-worker and pro-Michigan.”

“Workers deserve the right to decide for themselves whether union membership benefits them,” Snyder said. “Introducing freedom-to-work in Michigan will contribute to our state’s economic comeback while preserving the roles of unions and collective bargaining.”

House Speaker Jase Bolger exulted after the vote that Michigan’s future “has never been brighter,” while Democrats and union activists said workers had been doomed to ever-lower living standards. Lacking enough votes to block the measures or force a statewide referendum, opponents set their sights on the 2014 election.

“Passing these bills is an act of war on Michigan’s middle class, and I hope the governor and the Republican legislators are ready for the fight that is about to ensue,” said Gretchen Whitmer, the Senate Democratic leader.

As 1 of 24 states with right-to-work laws, Michigan will prohibit requiring nonunion employees to pay unions for negotiating contracts, representing them in grievances and other services. Supporters say the laws give workers freedom of association and promote job creation, while critics insist the real intent is to drain unions of funds need to bargain effectively.
Labor has suffered a series of setbacks in Rust Belt states since the 2010 election propelled tea party conservatives to power across much of the region. Even so, the ruthless efficiency with which Republicans prevailed on right-to-work was breathtaking in Michigan, birthplace of the United Auto Workers, where unions have long been political titans.

The seeds were planted two years ago with the election of Snyder, a former venture capitalist and CEO who pledged to make the state more business-friendly, and GOP supermajorities in the House and Senate. They have chipped away repeatedly at union power, even as Snyder insisted the big prize — right-to-work — was “not on my agenda.”

Fearing the governor wouldn’t be able to restrain his allies in the Legislature, labor waged a pre-emptive strike with a ballot initiative known as Proposal 2 that would have made right-to-work laws unconstitutional. It was soundly defeated in last month’s election, and Snyder said Tuesday the unions had miscalculated by bringing the issue to center stage.

“I don’t believe we would be standing here in this time frame if it hadn’t been for Proposal 2,” the governor said at a news conference after signing the bills. “After the election, there was an extreme escalation on right-to-work that was very divisive.”

After days of private talks with legislative and union leaders, Snyder threw his support behind the measures last Thursday. Within hours, Senate Republicans had introduced and approved them without the usual committee hearings. After a mandatory five-day waiting period, the House did likewise Tuesday.

It happened so quickly that opponents had little time to generate the massive resistance put forward in Indiana, where right-to-work was approved earlier this year, and Wisconsin during consideration of a 2011 law curtailing collective bargaining rights for most state employees. Those measures provoked weeks of intense debate, with Democrats boycotting sessions to delay action and tens of thousands of activists occupying statehouses.

Still, Michigan unions mustered thousands of protesters who massed in the Capitol’s hallways, rotunda and front lawn. Crowds formed before dawn on a chilly morning. Four oversized, inflatable toy rats bearing the names of Snyder and GOP legislative leaders were on display.

“They’re selfish. They’re greedy. They’re Republican,” said Susan Laurin, 60, of Saginaw, a secretary with the state Department of Transportation, wearing a hard hat like many fellow demonstrators.

Seventh-grade teacher Jack Johnson, of East Lansing, said the GOP’s goal was obvious: “You take away money from the unions and they can’t support the Democratic candidates, and the Republicans take over.”

“No justice, no peace!” protesters chanted, the chorus reaching a deafening din as the House prepared to vote. “Shame on you!” they shouted from the House gallery as the results were announced.

Republicans insisted the bills were given adequate consideration, as the issue had been debated across the state for years. Snyder said he saw no reason to delay signing the measures, especially with opponents still hoping to dissuade him.

“They can finish up, and they can go home because they know … making more comments on that is not going to change the outcome,” he said. “I view this as simply trying to get this issue behind us.”

Don’t count on it, state Democratic Chairman Mark Brewer retorted.

“If Gov. Snyder thinks that Michigan citizens will go home and forget about what happened in Lansing today, he is sorely mistaken,” state Democratic Chairman Mark Brewer said. “Snyder has set the tone for the next two years, and this fight is not over.”

Snyder said he expects the law to be challenged in court but believes it will stand. Opponents also said they might seek recalls of some legislators.

Meanwhile, unions must adapt to a new reality.

The laws take effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns. Even then, workers bound by existing contracts won’t be able to stop paying union fees until those deals expire. But activists fear some will opt out at first opportunity.

“A lot of people like to freeload,” said Sharon McMullen, an employee of the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Read more:
ObamaCare can still be stopped
By: Diane Sori

ObamaCare...the mere word should send shivers down everybody's spines.

ObamaCare...rationed medicine, death panels, and the federal government telling you what treatment you will receive or if you even meet their criteria for treatment at all for it regulates and restricts doctors to the point of impotence when treating the sick.

The Supreme Court had a chance to get rid of this abomination in full but sadly they didn't, so now it's up to the individual states to opt out of certain sections or buy into the whole rotten ball of wax.

So while the Supreme Court's ruling allows states to opt out of the law's controversial Medicaid expansion part, with each state's decision to participate or not now up to the state governors and state leaders to decide, many governors have said they would not set up state health care exchanges which residents would select a health care plan from, a requirement of ObamaCare.

This means that the federal government would have to step in and set-up an exchange for them.

And if the federal government is forced to set up the exchanges, these exchanges will report non-compliant residents to the IRS, and leave employers open to fines for each employee not covered to the extent ObamaCare demands. Plus, that allows for more corporate welfare for health-insurance companies.

And the deadline for states to make their decision on which way to go is drawing near. 

Remember, ObamaCare was passed in 2010, and since then many states have refused to start laying the groundwork needed to create the exchanges, including rejecting the millions of dollars of federal planning money to help get them up and running. Thankfully some states are still holding firm and will NOT cave in to ObamaCare's demands to set up these exchanges, because they know that ObamaCare overlooks the very important fact that the federal government cannot legally distribute health care premium subsidies or enforce the insurance mandates, which are the heart of ObamaCare. In fact, many states have statutes or constitutional amendments disallowing state employees from participating in exchanges. This basically means if enough states opt out of the exchanges, ObamaCare is in serious trouble.

And that says it all...ObamaCare can still be stopped.

By putting the burden for health insurance exchanges on the federal government this can have ObamaCare implode from within. Remember, there would be massive paperwork and the usual government gridlock if the government was forced to set up health insurance exchanges for each state.

In other words one size does NOT fit all because varying local laws, markets and conditions are different in each state.

And if the Republican controlled House would only stand up to Obama for once, ObamaCare could still be stopped by simply defunding it. If ObamaCare is defunding, along with states across the nation refusing to participate, this leaves Obama and his pals the feds in deep doo-doo, because Obamacare would have been for all intents and purposes stopped before it even had a chance to get started.

So lets see if the House has the courage to finish what some states have started but I'm NOT going to hold my breath for that to happen...I'd be blue before you know it.

Obama's America Will Become Detroit

Obama's America Will Become Detroit
President Barack Obama travelled to Michigan this week and made his case for class war in defense of the welfare state.

We need to take more money from the rich, he said, or schools will not be able to afford books, students will not be able to afford college, and disabled children will not get health care.

"Our economic success has never come from the top down," said Obama. "It comes from the middle out.It comes from the bottom up."

Obama spoke these words a few miles from Detroit -- the reductio ad absurdum of his argument.

If America continues down the road to Obama's America -- a road that began when President Franklin Roosevelt started building a welfare state here -- our entire nation will become Detroit.

Obama's economic and moral vision has played out in that city. What he seeks has been achieved there.

Last week, as reported by the Detroit Free Press, Michigan's state treasurer told Detroit's mayor and city council that the state may soon appoint an emergency financial manager for the city. Under Michigan law, the paper said, only such a manager can initiate the steps leading to a bankruptcy filing for the city.

By current calculations, Detroit faces obligations over the next six months that exceed its revenues by $47 million. The city, the Free Press reported, now pays $1.08 in benefits to municipal workers and retirees for every $1.00 it pays in salary.

What happened to Detroit? It is achieving socialism in one city.
Traditional two-parent families and the productive taxpaying citizens they produce have fled. In 1950, according the U.S. Census Bureau, Detroit had 1,849,568 people and was the fifth-largest city in the nation.

By 2000, its population had dropped to 951,270; by 2010, to 713,777; and by 2011, to 706,585.

What has happened to the people who remain? The Census Bureau estimates there are 563,055 people age 16 or older in the city who could potentially work and be part of the labor force. But only 54.3 percent of these -- or 305,479 individuals -- actually do participate in the labor force, meaning they either have a job or are looking for one. Another 257,576 of Detroit residents age 16 or older -- 45.7 percent of that demographic -- do not participate in the labor force. They do not have a job, and they are not looking for one.

In fact, these 257,576 people in Detroit who do not have a job and are not looking for one outnumber the 224,846 residents who do have jobs. But of the 224,846 residents who do have jobs, 34,500 -- or 15.3 percent -- have jobs with the government. Thus, this city that boasted 1,849,568 residents in 1950 has only 190,346 private-sector workers today.

There are 264,209 households in Detroit, and 91,204 of them -- or 34.5 percent -- get food stamps.

Very few of the people who are staying out of the labor force in Detroit are staying out because they are stay-at-home moms with working husbands. Of the 264,209 households in Detroit, only 24,275 -- or 9.2 percent -- are married couple families with children under 18. Another 78,438 households -- or 29.7 percent of the total -- are "families" headed by women with no husband present. Of these, 43,742 have children under 18.

There were 12,103 babies born in Detroit in the 12 months prior to the Census Bureau survey, and 9,124 of them -- or 75.4 percent -- were born to unmarried women.

Of the 363,281 housing units in Detroit, 99,072 are vacant. Indeed, vacant houses have become a powerful visual symbol of what advancing socialism has done to the city. Traditional family life is nearing extinction in this once vibrant corner of America.

Obama said in Michigan that if the federal government does not take more money away from people who have earned it, the public schools may not be able to buy school books. But the Department of Education says that in the Detroit public schools -- which have books -- only 7 percent of the eight graders are grade-level proficient in reading and only 4 percent are grade-level proficient in math.

School books are not lacking here. Self-reliance, the spirit of individualism, and the Judeo-Christian values that support marriage and family are. They have been driven by a government that wants the people to depend on it rather than on themselves, their families and their faith.